Our ears are burning.
Twice in two debates, Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy invoked our name as a shield in the face of criticism from Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio about his background.
"You continue to throw out these lies. They have all been debunked by PolitiFact," Murphy said.
Murphy's response was memorable — especially to us. His retort is a wishful reading of our reports. Here's the truth: Murphy has exaggerated his credentials, and his opponents have also exaggerated their attacks on Murphy.
In the Oct. 26 debate in Davie, Rubio dubbed Murphy a "serial embellisher," saying the South Florida congressman never had a contract to clean up Gulf oil, and he could not have worked as a CPA in Florida because he did not have a Florida CPA license.
ABC's Jonathan Karl, the moderator of the first debate, also asked Murphy about his background.
"You've described yourself as a small business owner, but your company is a subsidiary of a billion-dollar construction firm founded by your father. You call yourself a Certified Public Accountant, but you have not been a CPA in the state of Florida. And for more than a year, your website said that you had two degrees from the University of Miami, when in fact you only had one."
"Absolutely not," Murphy responded, "and I am glad you asked this question, and it's important that you all hear it from me. You see, PolitiFact, an independent fact-checking agency has already debunked these accusations."
No, we have not.
Words matter, and here's why.